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  • Writer's pictureNiall Kelly

Three Reasons Why Weekly Safety Shower Activation is Important

Hand activating a safety shower lever

Weekly activation of Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units is an essential for safe operations on your worksite. It’s more than just a tick-box exercise, doing so helps ensure that your PPE is in tip-top condition and helps Safety Officers, Engineers, and Facility Managers identify potentially dangerous problems before they escalate and compromise the effectiveness of their Safety Showers/Eye Wash Units in an emergency situation. Let’s take a look at some of the more common issues.


Activating Your Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units Helps Prevent Bacteria


For the health of your employees, it is essential that Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units are regularly activated and flushed. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of the water going stagnant and this can enable bacteria to accumulate through the formation of mucilage on the water. Legionella is a particularly common (and harmful) example of this, along with Pseudomonas and Acanthamoeba. For this reason, you should ensure that all of your Safety Shower/Eye Wash Units are activated at least once a week; the last thing you want is to discover that your Personal Protection Equipment has infected the employees it was meant to protect, all because you neglected to activate them regularly.


Sediment can Build Up if You Don’t Activate Your Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units


If you don’t regularly activate your Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units it is likely that sediment will build up in the pipes and water and this can result in major problems should you need to use them. Built-up sediment can clog up pipes, eye wash diffusers, and nozzles, which in turn will affect the functionality of your Safety Shower Unit, resulting in problems with water pressure and spray pattern. This will reduce the effectiveness of the PPE in decontaminating staff in an emergency. In fact, built-up sediment in pipes can actually further contaminate users depending on the type of sediment that has built up—the exact opposite of what PPE is meant to do. This is another reason why you should never, ever skip your weekly Safety Shower and Eye Wash Unit activations.


Regular activation of Safety Showers/Eye Wash Units Helps Highlight Problems with Water Pressure, Flow or Temperature


Weekly activation of Safety Showers and Eye Wash Units also helps identify any potential issues that may exist with water flow or water pressure—a far better alternative than finding out in an emergency situation that your water flow rate is too low. EN and ANSI standards stipulate that you should be able to supply a consistent flow of tepid water for at least 15 minutes in order to decontaminate the end user effectively. If this can’t be sustained, or the pressure is too low (or high) then you need to rectify the problem as soon as possible. It is equally important to make sure that the water temperature remains consistently tepid; EN standards stipulate 15 to 37C (59 to 98F), and the ANSI standard requires 16 to 38C (60 to 100F).


This is not an exhaustive list, but we hope that it has given some insight into the reasons why you need to activate any Safety Showers/Eye Wash Units on your site on a weekly basis; if you don’t you could actually make an already hazardous situation worse. The team at Gaslines Ltd. has decades of experience in supplying, hiring, and advising on Safety Shower/Eye Wash Units to a range of industries across Ireland—if you’re unsure of anything just pick up the phone and call them on 0402 32116 and they’ll be happy to advise. You can also contact them by email at sales@mahealy.ie.

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